Tornado kills 100 in Oklahoma

The entire suburb of Moore was reduced to rubble while 30 schoolchildren are still missing.

The suburb of Moore in Oklahoma was reduced to rubble after a tornado hit. 100 people were killed. Picture: AFP

OKLAHOMA - A massive tornado tore through the Oklahoma City suburb of Moore on Monday killing at least 100 people.

The storm brought torrential rains and winds gusting up to 320 km and more an hour.

Entire tracts of homes were turned to rubble, as well as two schools and a hospital.

Rescue teams raced against the setting sun to find survivors especially in the ruins of a school.

As many as 30 children remain unaccounted for.

An unidentified young man arrived to find his childhood home reduced to rubble, but he managed to rescue his neighbour.

"There are no words to describe this, my whole life I have been there, my parents have been there since 1974 and everything is gone in an instant. Its devastating."

CNN's Nick Valencia described the scenes of devastation and how one man and his handicapped wife survived.

People were scrambling, trying to recover what they can.

"I spoke to another resident who was riding out the storm in a shelter, she said the wind force was so strong that it cracked the shelter she was in." Valencia said.

A man rode out the storm with his handicapped wife and said he put his faith in the Lord and took refuge in the bathroom and was able to get out alive.


Meanwhile, six people died and seven were still missing after a powerful tornado ripped through a north Texas neighbourhood last week.

Authorities were assessing damage and searching through rubble last Friday, hoping to find survivors among the twisted metal and splintered wood of flattened homes.

"This tornado was a monster," said Hood County Commissioner Steve Berry. "It's just devastating."

The tornado, which brought winds of 270 to 320km/h, was rated an EF4 by the National Weather Service.

An EF4 is the second most powerful level for a storm and these rare tornadoes can blow away a well-constructed wood or brick home.

The storm blew homes from their foundations, tossed cars through the air and uprooted trees as it raged through at least four counties near the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

The National Weather Service said there were reports of 10 tornadoes touching down in the area.

Granbury, a town of 8,000 people about 55km southwest of Dallas-Fort Worth was hardest hit.

Officials counted four men and two women dead in Hood County, where Granbury is located.

Another seven were missing and at least 45 others were injured.

In March 2012, at least 39 people were killed in a chain of tornadoes from the Midwest to the Gulf of Mexico.

A total of 70 people were killed in tornadoes last year alone.

The tornado season in the United States typically starts in the Gulf Coast states in late winter, and then moves north with the warming weather, peaking around May and trailing off by July.

Additional reporting by CNN.